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County board approves Prescott Courthouse site for peace officer memorial

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at its regular monthly meeting in Cottonwood, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a location for a peace officer memorial. The courthouse square location is between the Bucky O’Neill Monument and a war memorial, near the gazebo, on the northwest corner of the plaza closest to the intersection of Montezuma and Gurley streets. (Jason W. Brooks/VVN)

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at its regular monthly meeting in Cottonwood, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a location for a peace officer memorial. The courthouse square location is between the Bucky O’Neill Monument and a war memorial, near the gazebo, on the northwest corner of the plaza closest to the intersection of Montezuma and Gurley streets. (Jason W. Brooks/VVN)

COTTONWOOD — There have been 15 law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in service in Yavapai County through the years.

Those people will be honored in a new peace officer memorial to be constructed in the Yavapai County courthouse square in the years ahead. Many details still are yet to be hammered out — including some to be discussed by a committee.

Wednesday, at its regular monthly meeting in Cottonwood, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a location for a peace officer memorial.

The courthouse square location is between the Bucky O’Neill Monument and a war memorial, near the gazebo, on the northwest corner of the plaza closest to the intersection of Montezuma and Gurley streets.

“I think something like this is long overdue for Yavapai County,” Sheriff Scott Mascher told the supervisors on Wednesday. “Just on an initial look, there have been 15 fallen officers countywide, including nine from our department.”

The memorial will be non-agency-specific in terms of honorees.

Mascher will put together a committee to work on the design phase, which will dictate how much fundraising will need to be done. Staff was directed by the board to begin the process but county funds aren’t committed to the project.

Board Chair Craig Brown suggested Supervisor Rowle Simmons, as former mayor of Prescott, be included in the process. Supervisor Tom Thurman suggested Mascher suggested the committee look at similar memorials in the southwest and to include the 100 Club and Prescott Lodge 19 of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police in the design process.

Mascher said the memorial will serve to remind children and adults that law enforcement is dangerous work and sometimes involves the ultimate sacrifice.

“Unfortunately, there will need to be some space on the plaque for future names,” Mascher said.

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